Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles Announces The Three Graces Women & Epilepsy Conference

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Bilingual conference to offer critical information about epilepsy to California women; Eva Marie Saint to present awards.

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For example, seizures may affect hormones and hormones may affect seizures. There are also treatment effects on birth control, pregnancy, parenting, and timing of menopause. It is imperative that this information is brought to light in order to enhance the quality of care provided to women and to improve a woman’s overall quality of life.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles announced today that it will host The Three Graces Women & Epilepsy Conference on June 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Cathedral Plaza Conference Center in downtown Los Angeles. This full-day, bilingual regional conference aims to provide critical information and resources to women with epilepsy and the medical professionals that care for them. The conference will also recognize a select group of women who have played an important role in the fight against the disease. Academy Award winning actress Eva Marie Saint will be on hand to present awards that honor those women.

Studies have shown that women with epilepsy can have a greater risk of lowered fertility, menstrual irregularities, gynecological syndromes and reproductive endocrine disorders than women unaffected by epilepsy. The Three Graces Women & Epilepsy Conference is designed to address the specific concerns of the more than 150,000 women affected by epilepsy in California. In addition, the conference will also update caregivers in order to increase awareness of the best possible treatments, and to promote understanding of and sensitivity to women’s concerns.

“Women with epilepsy face a particular set of challenges that no other member of our constituency faces,” said Susan Pietsch-Escueta, the executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. “It is critical that our Foundation connect health professionals and women affected by epilepsy to the most up-to-date information and research in order to promote understanding and improve the quality of life for women with this illness.”

The Three Graces Women & Epilepsy Conference is a collaborative conference of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, the national Epilepsy Foundation, the Perinatal Advisory Council – Leadership, Advocacy and Consultation, the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California and the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. The conference theme, topics and speakers have been developed with input from the conference chairs, who are members of the Foundation’s Professional Advisory Board, and from women with epilepsy. The conference follows three different tracks: women and guests; medical professionals; and a Spanish track for women and guests. The topics addressed in these tracks include: Pregnancy and Epilepsy, Hormones and Seizures, Treatment Across the Life Cycle, Mood Disorders in Epilepsy, Yoga and Meditation – Reducing Stress, Teen Girls and Epilepsy, Employment, Finances and Insurance, Senior Women and Seizures, Seizures and Sexuality, Migraines and Epilepsy, and Living Life to the Fullest – Nutrition, Health and Well Being. There will also be two intimate sessions where women will be able to speak with experts and share and socialize amongst themselves.

“Women with epilepsy face specific challenges unique to their gender,” reports Dr. Christianne Heck, the Director of the Adult Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the USC/Keck School of Medicine. “For example, seizures may affect hormones and hormones may affect seizures. There are also treatment effects on birth control, pregnancy, parenting, and timing of menopause. It is imperative that this information is brought to light in order to enhance the quality of care provided to women and to improve a woman’s overall quality of life.”

Beyond addressing major issues of concern to women with epilepsy, the Three Graces Conference will honor a select group of women who have played an important role in the fight against epilepsy. Academy Award winning actress, Eva Marie Saint, will present the honorees with their awards. Eva Marie Saint has triumphed as a motion picture, stage and television star in such films as, “On the Waterfront” (for which she won the Academy Award), “North by Northwest,” “A Hatful of Rain,” “Raintree County,” “Exodus,” and “The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!” “Grand Prix,” “Loving,” “Nothing In Common”, “I Dreamed of Africa,” “Because of Winn-Dixie”, and most recently, “Don’t Come Knocking”. She also stars as Martha Kent in the highly-anticipated “Superman Returns,” releasing in theaters on June 30. Saint is currently producing “Fences” by August Wilson at the Odyssey Theater with her husband, director Jeffrey Hayden, starting June 9.

On site registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Space is limited, so advanced registration by Wednesday, June 7, 2006 is strongly recommended. Prior to June 7th, the conference fee is $25 for women and guests, and $50 for medical professionals. The fee for women and guests will help to cover the cost of food and the syllabus, while the fee for medical professionals will cover food, syllabus and CME/CEU credits. For detailed information and to register, visit http://www.epilepsy-socalif.org or call (800) 564-0445.

About Epilepsy

When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy. There are over 20 types of seizures and 40 epilepsy syndromes affecting approximately 2.7 million people in the U.S. and 50 million people worldwide. This year, another 200,000 people in our country will be diagnosed; an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 will die of seizures and related causes. To date, there is no known cure.

About the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

Established in 1957, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is the only non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated solely to serving people living with epilepsy in this region. Our mission is to improve the lives of people affected by epilepsy by promoting care, prevention, research and cure through education, support services, programs, advocacy and awareness. The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is affiliated with the Epilepsy Foundation of America in Landover, Maryland.

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Eric Schumacher
NEOLOGY
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